If there’s a new true crime documentary with an interesting angle, I’m gonna find a way to watch it, and sure enough, I’ll be adding HBO’s four-part docuseries Murder on Middle Beach to my list.
The series hails from first-time filmmaker Madison Hamburg, and it presents his complicated journey as a young man determined to solve an unspeakable crime and absolve the people he loves, while looking for answers within his fractured family and community.
On March 3, 2010, single mother Barbara Hamburg was found violently murdered near her home in the upper middle class enclave of Madison, Connecticut. Investigators speculated her murder appeared to be a crime of passion, but without enough evidence, the case grew cold. Over the course of eight years, Barbara’s son, Madison Hamburg, interviewed his family members and many others, longing to learn more about his mother and gathering evidence in hopes of solving her murder, sending him into a deep web of buried familial secrets, connections to shadowy criminal figures, and the uncovering of years-old resentments in his deceptively serene hometown. While Madison wrestles with troubling revelations about his mother, the most unsettling conflict comes from his obligation to bring into question those inside his community and members of his own family.
“At 18 years old, my worst fears came true when my sister called to tell me that my mother had been murdered. As much as I fought it, her death became a part of my life. Her memory faded and her case went cold, but I couldn’t accept that. Even if it meant sacrificing my own safety and sanity, I made my mother a promise when I started this project, ‘I will never let you be forgotten.’ It is less than what she would have done for me,” Madison said in a statement.
Murder on Middle Beach was produced by Jigsaw Productions, Armian Pictures and Blue Days Films, and executive produced by Ron Nyswaner, Neda Armian, Toby Oppenheimer, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello and Madison Hamburg, as well as HBO’s Lisa Heller and Nancy Abraham. Evan Lerner served as co-executive producer, while Whitney Johnson served as supervising producer. Solomon Petchenik served as producer and Sara Rodriguez served as senior producer for HBO, where Murder on Middle Beach will debut Nov. 15, the same day it will also begin streaming on HBO Max.
Watch the chilling trailer for Murder on Middle Beach below.